Panotwin Markus shooting the subway station Westfriedhof for WWP ‘Color’

Today I was searching for an image of the subway station Westfriedhof in Munich. As I browsed my database I found the following image of Panotwin Markus shooting the Munich subway station Westfriedhof with a double monopod setup.

Panotwin Markus doing a poleshot.
Panotwin Markus doing a poleshot.

The final panorama is hosted at the WWP event ‘Color’.
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Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm/4.5 attached to Sony NEX-7 via Novoflex NEX/LEM

In a recent article I described, why the E-mount of the Sony ILCE-7 is so interesting for people with legacy lenses and how to configure your Sony ILCE-7 to assist when taking pictures with these lenses. In another article I also described, how to get rid of the magenta cast in the corners when you are using ultra wide lenses on the Sony NEX-system.

And here is another example of a legacy ultra wide lense adapted to the E-mount.

Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm/4.5 attached to Sony NEX-7 via Novoflex NEX/LEM
Voigtländer Super Wide Heliar 15mm/4.5 attached to Sony NEX-7 via Novoflex NEX/LEM

Originally this lens was constructed for the M39 screw-mount of early Leica cameras. So you could either use an Novoflex NEX/LEI adapter or you use an M-Bayonet Adapter and the Novoflex NEX/LEM adapter. Depending on your other lenses one of this options should suit your needs. Personally I use the second option and I don’t have any problems while focusing.

If you’d like to read an intensive review of the lens then take a look at this page.

White Easter in Bad Hindelang

Some impressions of Bad Hindelang on Easter Sunday. Over night fell about 10cm new snow. Between the clouds started to show some blue inbetween. This was just a quick handheld cylindrical I shot to capture the scenery. I took 6 portrait oriented images and stiched them.

White Easter in Bad Hindelang 2012
White Easter in Bad Hindelang 2012

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Camera Maker: SONY
Camera Model: NEX-5
Exposure Time: 1/2500
F-Number: 5.0
Focal Length: 18mm
Lens: Sony 18-55mm
ISO: 200


Sony NEX-7 and the use of legacy ultra wide lenses

In a previous article I wrote about the possibility of attaching nearly every interchangable lens to the NEX camera system via an appropriate adapter. And I already told you how you can configure your NEX so that it’s easier to work with your legacy lenses.

But there is still a problem when you use ultra wide lenses originally designed for the Leica-M camera system. Depending on the lens you get a strong coloured cast in the corners of your image. Meanwhile this problem is well described throughout the web. For example in an article of Luminous Landscape, the blog of Steve Huff or the blog of Jim Kasson.

My own experiences confirm these observations. Depending on the lens (and of course your subject) you get a strong coloured cast which you can’t ignore. The following example shows an image which was taken with the NEX-7 and the Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6. At the stage of post-processing I didn’t apply any correction for any of the known lens defects (like chromatic aberration or distortion) nor did I correct for coloured corners or vignetting.

Uncorrected example image taken with NEX-7 and the Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6.
Uncorrected example image taken with NEX-7 and the Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6.

But at the cost of additional post-processing there is a solution available which is based on the free software cornerfix (which is available for Mac and PC). At the stage of post-processing I didn’t apply any correction for any of the known lens defects (like chromatic aberration or distortion) but I did correct the coloured corners and vignetting with cornerfix.

With cornerfix corrected example image taken with NEX-7 and the Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6.
With cornerfix corrected example image taken with NEX-7 and the Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6.

Before I corrected the corners I generated my own lens-correction-profiles. Therefore I followed these instructions. For the flat field reference file I took a picture through a matted glass panel.

Flat field reference image taken with NEX-7 and the Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6.
Flat field reference image taken with NEX-7 and the Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6.

After that I followed the instructions for correcting images with cornerfix. I’m very pleased with the results and at the cost of some additional post-processing I get perfectly usable files from my legacy ultra wide lenses on my NEX-7. In the following example I corrected the coloured corners and vignetting with cornerfix and I corrected the lens defects (chromatic aberration, distortion) within Adobe camera raw. Some digital shifting, a crop to 3:4 and adding again some vignette completed the modifications of this image.

Image taken with NEX-7 and the Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6.
Image taken with NEX-7 and the Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6.

For the additional post-processing with cornerfix you need files in the DNG format. And to convert the Sony ARW files from the NEX-7 to DNG you will need at minimum the version 6.6 of the Adobe DNG converter. As my workflow was already based on the DNG format the additional post-processing is not much of an issue 🙂

Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6 attached to Sony NEX-7 via Novoflex NEX/LEM

The lens mount of the Sony NEX camera system is called E-mount. The E stands for Eighteen, as the flange focal distance of the Sony NEX camera series is exactly eighteen millimeters. Most interchangeable lens systems use a longer flange focal distance and therefore you can adapt nearly every available lens to the E-mount of the Sony NEX camera system.

In this case I used the NEX/LEM adapter from Novoflex to adapt an Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6 to a Sony NEX-7. On a full frame sensor this setup equals to a focal length of 18mm.

Sony NEX-7 - Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6 and Novoflex NEX/LEM
Sony NEX-7 – Voigtländer Ultra Wide Heliar 12mm/5.6 and Novoflex NEX/LEM

You must be aware that this combination only allows manual control. But the Sony NEX camera system assists in the use of manual lenses if the camera is proper configured:

  1. Make sure you enable the shooting without a lens: Menu → Setup → Release w/o lens → Enable
  2. For the first generation NEX cameras (NEX-5 and NEX-3) make sure you have an actual firmware (≥ version 04) installed. Check this by using Menu → Setup → Version. When you have an older version installed then download the latest version from the Sony support site .
  3. Enable the MF Assist function using Menu → Setup → MF Assist → 2 Sec
    You can choose between No Limit — 2 Sec — 5 Sec.
  4. Enable the Peaking Level using Menu → Setup → Peaking Level → Mid
    You can choose between Low — Mid — High.
  5. Choose your Peaking Color using Menu → Setup → Peaking Color → Red
    You can choose between Yellow — Red — White.

Switch your camera to A- Mode (aperture priority) and use the MF Assist button to get a perfectly sharp picture even when shooting a fast lens wide open.

Following the Educational Trail

Recently we had equinox and as we are living on the northern hemisphere it was spring equinox. Traditionally this is the time when we go out and shoot a panorama for the World Wide Panorama (WWP). An event where we regularly contribute since 2005. The theme of the event was “paths”. Thinking about “paths” I finally thought of educational trails (Lehrpfad in German literally translates to educational path) which are very common in Germany. I did a search on educational trails in Frankfurt and found an educational trail of the faculty of geosciences/geography at the University of Frankfurt/M.

As I followed the trail I did several sphericals. The one I finally chose for the event shows a lovely spot near the old village center of Niederursel a district of Frankfurt/M.

“Gustav-​Adolf” ​church in Niederursel
“Gustav- Adolf” church in Niederursel

You can view the panorama “Following the Educational Trail” on the pages of the World Wide Panorama (WWP).
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